Tempered Glass vs. Plastic: The Right Screen Protector for You (2024)

Cracked or broken touchscreens are among the most common forms of smartphone damage these days. And unfortunately, if you find yourself having to pay for a screen replacement out-of-pocket—especially for the latest and most popular models like the iPhone 6s or the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge—you can easily expect to spend £140 or more. Fortunately, [...]

Tempered Glass vs. Plastic: The Right Screen Protector for You (1)

Cracked or broken touchscreens are among the most common forms of smartphone damage these days. And unfortunately, if you find yourself having to pay for a screen replacement out-of-pocket—especially for the latest and most popular models like the iPhone 6s or the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge—you can easily expect to spend £140 or more. Fortunately, investing in a screen protector for your smartphone is a relatively cheap and easy way to reduce the chances of screen damage. If you're in the market for a screen protector, you might be wondering whether a tempered glass or plastic option is right for you. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can ultimately make a well informed decision.

Tempered Glass Screen Protectors

Tempered glass screen protectors have become increasingly popular in recent years. They're typically sold individually rather than in bulk packs and are made out of a tempered glass that doesn't easily shatter and, if it does break, does so in a way that prevents dangerous shards from becoming a hazard.

Advantages

Perhaps the greatest advantage of using a tempered glass screen protector is that the material is thicker and stronger than that of your typical plastic screen protector. As a result, your screen protector will be extremely resistant to scratches and other visible damage. This is especially important for those who tend to store their smartphones in a bag or purse with keys or other objects that could otherwise scratch the screen.

In addition to providing a thicker and stronger layer of protection for your phone's screen, a tempered glass screen protector also has a look and feel that's very similar to your standard smartphone screen. As a result, you may not notice the screen protector as much as you would with a plastic one.

Potential Drawbacks

On the other hand, tempered glass screen protectors are often significantly more expensive than traditional plastic screen protectors. It's not uncommon to spend at least £25 for a single tempered glass protector, which may seem steep for some. Furthermore, because of the added thickness provided by a tempered glass screen protector, some phone cases may not fit properly, or the home button of the phone itself may seem more indented. This can take some getting used to for phone users.

Plastic Screen Protectors

Plastic screen protectors are the more traditional choice for those who wish to cover their phone screens without breaking the bank.

Advantages

In addition to being a lot cheaper than tempered glass screen protectors, plastic screen protectors have the added benefit of being easily cut or trimmed to fit any phone. This cannot be done with a glass screen protector. Plastic protectors also come in a variety of texture options, ranging from smooth to matte. Some even have a built-in privacy screen that will prevent people from peering over your shoulder to see your phone screen.

Plastic screen protectors can also be easily purchased in bulk, resulting in further cost savings and making it easy to keep extra screen protectors on-hand.

It’s important to note that there are different tiers of plastic plastic screens. For example, Ultimate Shield’s Invisible Film is completely different than standard plastic film screen protectors. The film used by Ultimate Shield is extremely durable and military grade—yep, the same films used to protect military equipment and vehicles. In addition to this added protection, it is applied with a water solution which makes application easy and bubble-free.

Potential Drawbacks

Plastic screen protectors are typically thinner than tempered glass ones, making them more prone to scratches and failure. They can also be difficult to apply, and one mistake in application could lead to the formation of bubbles or other imperfections on the surface of the screen protector itself.

Overall, both tempered glass and plastic screen protectors can be great options for avoiding the despair and expense of repairing or even replacing a cracked or broken smartphone screen. You can make the decision that's right for you by assessing your needs and budget before purchasing a screen protector for your phone.

For information on Ultimate Shield’s protection options,click here.


Tempered Glass vs. Plastic: The Right Screen Protector for You (2024)

FAQs

Tempered Glass vs. Plastic: The Right Screen Protector for You? ›

Perhaps the greatest advantage of using a tempered glass screen protector is that the material is thicker and stronger than that of your typical plastic screen protector. As a result, your screen protector will be extremely resistant to scratches and other visible damage.

Is tempered glass or plastic screen protector better? ›

Tempered-glass screen protectors do better against drops and scratches than plastic. Plus some brands offer added features, including antiglare and privacy technology. The main downside? The protector is thicker, so you'll notice it on your screen.

Is synthetic or tempered glass better for screen protector? ›

What's different about Synthetic Glass and Tempered Glass? There is a tiny difference in texture, though some people naturally prefer the synthetic glass. For pure scratch resistance, our tempered glass screen protectors have a 9H hardness rating, compared to 8H for synthetic glass.

Do we really need tempered glass screen protector? ›

Do You Really Need Tempered Glass for Your Smartphone? Even though most smartphones today come with a tougher gorilla glass screen, you will definitely need a screen guard to protect your phone from possible damage.

Which type of screen protector is best? ›

Tempered glass screen protectors consistently land among our top-selling products. They provide multi-level protection, minimizing damage from daily wear and tear, as well as occasional drops and impacts, without causing deep-level damage.

What are the disadvantages of tempered glass screen protectors? ›

Potential Drawbacks

Furthermore, because of the added thickness provided by a tempered glass screen protector, some phone cases may not fit properly, or the home button of the phone itself may seem more indented. This can take some getting used to for phone users.

Do plastic screen protectors work against drops? ›

While they offer some protection against scratches and scuffs, they provide minimal protection against drops and impacts. Plastic film screen protectors are less durable than tempered glass protectors and can easily peel off or become discolored over time.

What is better than tempered glass? ›

Another notable difference is that hydrogel is much more versatile than tempered glass. While the second can only be applied to screens, the hydrogel can be placed both in front of and behind your smartphone to protect it from bumps and scratches.

Does tempered glass affect touch sensitivity? ›

The touch sensitivity

Even though the manufacturer intended to make the tempered glass screen protector feel exactly like your phone's actual screen, it can still affect your experience when you use your phone. One key aspect that affects touch sensitivity is thickness.

Does Apple recommend screen protectors? ›

So Apple's general rule of thumb is never put a screen protector on a MacBook because nothing should be between the MacBook screen and keyboard.

Is it OK to use mobile without tempered glass? ›

You can safely use a modern smartphone with a "naked" screen, and---even if you put it in the same pocket with your keys and coins---it should be fine. Of course, you'll probably want to keep your keys and coins in another pocket---there's a chance they could scratch some other part of your phone.

Does the iPhone need tempered glass? ›

Tempered glass screen protectors are a top choice for iPhone users who want robust protection without sacrificing screen clarity and display sensitivity. They provide excellent scratch resistance while preserving the iPhone 15's stunning display.

What is the difference between plastic and glass screen protector? ›

Plastic screen protectors are resilient and reusable but may lose clarity over time, show scratches prominently, and lack fingerprint resistance. On the other hand, tempered glass offers sturdiness, scratch resistance, and enhanced usability, albeit with a higher cost and less impact resistance.

Why is Zagg so expensive? ›

Some people ask, “Why is ZAGG so expensive?” And the truth is, we have the most solid and resilient products among any tech accessory brand. Between mophie's sleek wireless chargers, InvisibleShield's unmatched screen protectors, or Gear4's military-grade cases, ZAGG has you powered and protected for any adventure.

What type of screen protector is best for an iPhone? ›

Material: When selecting the best screen protectors, we chose ones that were made of 9H Tempered Glass since this material does better against different drops or scratches than plastic.

Is a plastic screen protector enough? ›

First of all, the plastic only protects the screen from scratches. It won't help if you drop the phone or accidentally hit the screen with another object. Another disadvantage is the complicated assembly, because the protector is so thin that it's difficult to place it in the desired position.

Which is better polycarbonate or tempered glass? ›

Even though tempered glass is more resistant to impacts, its impact resistance is nowhere near polycarbonate. Polycarbonate sheet is 200 times more impact resistant than traditional glass. Therefore, polycarbonate is a better choice if the application involves potential impacts or requires high durability.

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